Shishkin’s Stunning Refusal at Ascot Racecourse Alters Race Outcome
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Shishkin’s Stunning Refusal at Ascot Racecourse Alters Race Outcome

Ascot Racecourse Stunned as Shishkin’s Refusal to Race Hands Victory to Pic D’Orhy

The highly anticipated Grade 2 Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday took an unexpected turn as odds-on favorite Shishkin refused to start, handing the victory to Pic D’Orhy.

Trainer Nicky Henderson expressed his frustration with Shishkin’s recalcitrant behavior, stating, “He is a quirky character at times, but he will never turn his head. He was in a mood today and he wasn’t for moving. I wish I could tell you more, but I can’t – I can’t read his head.” Henderson’s concern now lies in ensuring Shishkin’s cooperation for the upcoming King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, as he admitted, “My biggest concern would be how can I guarantee he wouldn’t do the same thing in the King George. The start at Kempton worries me.”

Pic D’Orhy, trained by Paul Nicholls, capitalized on Shishkin’s absence, winning the race by a commanding 16 lengths. However, jockey Harry Cobden, who rode Pic D’Orhy to victory, was underwhelmed by the performance, having initially had to battle hard to fend off the 40-1 runner-up, Straw Fan Jack.

The unexpected events at Ascot Racecourse have undoubtedly left the racing community, particularly Shishkin’s supporters, scratching their heads. Henderson must now search for a suitable prep race to get his star performer back on track for the prestigious King George VI Chase, a challenge that will test the trainer’s skills and Shishkin’s cooperation.

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